Why a MBA / Leadership Development Program (vs. direct hire)?
The Leadership Development Program (LDP) at AT&T allows participants to experience three challenging and varied roles during a 2.5-year period. AT&T is a diverse company at the forefront of new technologies across many industries. Through LDP, participants receive a unique opportunity to learn the business from the ground up, and gain firsthand exposure to different segments of the business with the support of leadership.
What are the key advantages / disadvantages of being on a MBA / Leadership Development Program?
AT&Tís Leadership Development program positively differentiates itself from others through classroom and experiential learning opportunities, executive leadership mentoring, a strong LDP community and the expectation that participants will have a positive impact on the company from day one. The AT&T LDP invests in, encourages and develops participants to be future leaders at the company, regardless of their title, level or business segment.
How does the MBA / Leadership Development Program fit in your career goals?
The AT&T LDP is tailored to graduate degree holders who want to pursue a general management role while also gaining deep functional and technical knowledge, and tackling complex business challenges at all levels. The network, lessons learned and skills developed during the LDP are transferrable to the numerous opportunities available at AT&T across all business units and groups. AT&T spans multiple departments and roles and offers a variety of opportunities in marketing, finance, sales, and more recently entertainment. Within the AT&T LDP itís possible to explore each of those areas in rotations prior to selecting a full-time role. As an example, during my time in the LDP program, I have had the opportunity to work in Network Operations, Strategic Pricing in a B2B2B channel housed in one of our innovation centers, and our Advisory Councils team. The program allows participants to research and network into a variety of organizations that interest them, even if the organization is something new for the participant. LDP encourages participants to use their time in the program to stretch themselves, develop skills and begin to build a career-spanning network.
How strongly did you weight the location of the program?
As a global company, AT&Tís LDP provides participants with the opportunity to work in several of AT&Tís hub cities throughout the program and their careers at AT&T. The LDP team works with each participant to balance where they want to be in each of their careers with where they want to be geographically. The needs of the business generate customized rotation opportunities that best align each participant for success on their own personal career development path. Additionally, as an integrated communications provider, AT&T is at the forefront of connecting employees and conducting business through technologies such as Telepresence, enabling teams to connect globally from each individualís home office.
What to look for in a MBA / Leadership Development Program?
As more and more companies offer rotational development programs, itís important to find one that best fits each individual applicant. A dedicated team supports the AT&T LDP, focusing on the unique and varied developmental needs and career goals of each program participant. This model not only strengthens the diverse and supportive LDP alumni network at AT&T but also develops strong leaders and equips program participants to meaningfully contribute in roles across the business from day one of their AT&T career.
Can you summarize the recruiting process you went through and how look it took?
The AT&T LDP interview process combines behavioral, practicum and presentation components. Candidates can showcase their leadership skills, product knowledge, and their ability to adapt and innovatively solve real world business problems. The process also allows the candidate to evaluate the program and determine if it fits their development and career goals.
What were the required skillsets and prior experience and how were they evaluated (behavioral interviews, case studies, assessment center, panel interview, etc)?
AT&Tís LDP program participants experience three different rotations during the program. The first rotation places them in a supervisory role with frontline employees designed to teach program participants the business from the ground up in an immersive way. The final two rotations occur in different corporate business units tailored to each participantís development needs and career goals. Successful LDP participants are adaptable, humble, self-aware, committed to ongoing development and learning in situations from individuals at all levels of the business, collaborative and willing to take on tough business problems with out-of-the-box approaches. The program encourages participants to have ongoing dialogue with their supervisors and the program team to keep development and growth consistent.
What advice and tips can you share with those interested in MBA Development Programs?
AT&T continues to evolve as a company to remain the industry leader so itís imperative that candidates take the same hands-on approach to their development and their career. The LDP team and the alumni network offer a strong support system that program participants can use to become lifelong learners and to set themselves up for success. The AT&T LDP enables participants to prepare themselves to be leaders at the company from day one and throughout each participantís career.